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Delaware Department of
Agriculture

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program



Specialty crops are defined by USDA as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops

A visit to a farmers’ market offers an inside look to many of the Delaware Grown specialty crops produced by our family farms.

(including floriculture). Through funding provided for under the Farm Bill and managed by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the  Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of Delaware’s specialty crop industry.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture manages a competitive solicitation process to award the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Individual producers, producer groups, organizations and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply, either as single entities or in combined efforts. Projects should benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole and be able to provide a positive impact with measurable outcomes.

The Delaware Department of Agriculture looks for grant projects that solely increase the competitiveness of Delaware grown specialty crops in regards to the following priorities specified by the USDA:

  • Enhancing food safety;
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, for example by developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers; packers and processors;
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • Pest and disease control;
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • Increasing opportunities for new and beginning farmers;
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
  • Protecting and improving pollinator health;
  • Developing local and regional food systems; and
  • Improving food access in underserved communities and among veterans.

For more information or to apply for this grant, please contact Jo-Ann Walston at the Delaware Department of Agriculture at (800) 282-8685 (Delaware only) or (302) 698-4592 or joann.walston@state.de.us

Request for Proposal for the 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program:


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